Archive | September, 2016

Ashes, ashes, we all fall down – Transcript

11 Sep

Ashes, ashes, we all fall down:
Finding peace from the Twin Towers tragedy

Welcome to the House that Dignity Built. I’m Dr. Daintee Glover Jones, and I am honored that you are listening to our second message of our 2016-17 series called “The Sum of Peace”. For the months of September and October, our speakers will be on one accord by speaking and teaching about the concept of prayer’s effect upon peace in our land. I dedicate today’s message to anyone who was affected by the September 11, 2001 tragedy that involved the twin towers in New York. May God add a healing blessing to this word, and may He use me to encourage, empower, and inspire. This message is called “Ashes, ashes, we all fall down: Finding peace from the twin towers tragedy.
One might remember the nursery rhyme of yester-year.
Ring a ring of roses
Pocket full of posies
Ashes. Ashes
We all fall down
Some theorists believe that this rhyme was about bowing or curtsying, while others, after the 1950s, think it is about people who died from a plague called Black Death. Some versions of this poem replaced “ashes, ashes” with words that sounded like sneezes. Poets would call these words examples of onomatopoeia.
When I think of this poem, I think of the ashes that covered the land after the twin towers went down. I was so worried about my family members in New York, hoping that they were nowhere near the buildings or the ashes that covered the city like a polluted snowfall. The air looked like war. Our people looked like refugees, but they were home in their own territory.
For a while, my fear paralyzed me. I didn’t feel that I could protect my daughter. I left work early in hopes of getting to her, hoping that we would be safe, hoping that if that moment was my last that I could at least spend it with my loved ones. I felt hurt, helpless and hopeless. My joy had vanished, and my peace was disturbed.
I wondered how I would return to my regular self. I was afraid for my family and my country. I knew that war was imminent, but I didn’t think winning it would really stop terrorism. This is the reason that I grieved. I knew that America would be a different place which is evident now with more people majoring in homeland security and airports taking extra measures before people can fly.
This moment is like the one in Tamela Mann’s song called Take Me to the King. She sings,
Truth is I’m tired
Options are few
I tried to pray
But where are you?
I’m all churched out
Hurt and abused
I can’t fake
What’s left to do?
The bible tells us that Mordecai of the book of Esther, in chapter 4, knew that at a time like this, one had to pray. He “tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes” and fell down to pray.
Job knew that at a time like this, one had to pray. He fell down to pray and “repented in dust and ashes” (Job 42:8) as he learned a lesson about God and suffering.
Even those that previously did not believe in God learned to acknowledge him, such as King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon who saw the miracle of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego being safe from a scorching furnace. He asserted that “no other god can save in this way” (Daniel 3:29).
Esther knew that a time like this, one had to pray. So she asked her fellow believers to fast and pray. After fasting and praying, she knew she had to see the king.
Take me to the king
I don’t have much to bring
My heart is torn to pieces
It’s my offering
Lay me at the throne
And leave me there alone
To gaze upon His glory and
Sing to Him my song
Take me to the king
Ashes. Ashes. They all fell down. They fell down to pray because they encountered struggles that were larger than life. They fell down to pray because they were not able to solve these dilemmas by themselves. They fell down to pray because they served a God of miracles.
Take me to the king who parted the red sea
Take me to the king who brought sight to the blind
Take me to the king who banished demons
who healed the issue of blood
who fed thousands with a few fish and loaves of bread
who conquered death
who sacrificed His life for you and for me
for we fell down to pray
We prayed for peace
We prayed for healing
We prayed for justice
We prayed for protection.
We prayed for understanding.
We fell down to pray.
And out of the ashes, peace was reborn.
Out of the ashes, we cleaned the city, we cleaned our psyches, and we cleaned our hearts.
Out of the ashes, we survived and began anew.
Brothers and sisters, if this message resonates with you because of your possible grief or pain or fear, then take a moment to approach the king of kings to make your request known. Please don’t carry that unnecessary burden by yourself. Let God lighten that load so that you can replace it with the glory of carrying your calling, your peace, and your joy instead. Out of ashes, may your peace be restored.
I’m Dr. Daintee Glover Jones, and this has been a message from the House that Dignity Built. Stay tuned for lecture notes for this sermon on September 13 at our website that is posted on this YouTube channel.
Amen and ashe’.

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And We March: A Prayer Formation for Peace – Transcript

3 Sep

And We March: A Prayer Formation for Peace

Sings: Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me. Let there be peace of earth, the peace that was meant to be. To take each moment, and live each moment with peace eternally. Let there be peace be earth and let it begin with me.

Thank you to Sister Carol W., a supporter of the House that Dignity Built, for suggesting the use of this song, Let there be peace on earth, for my message.

Welcome to the House that Dignity Built. I’m Dr. Daintee Glover Jones, and I consider it an honor and a privilege to have a moment to speak with you for our inaugural message of our 2016-17 series called “The Sum of Peace”. For the months of September and October, our speakers will be on one accord by speaking and teaching about the concept of prayer’s effect upon peace in our land. The title of today’s message is called “And We March: A Prayer Formation for Peace”. May God add a blessing to this word, and may He use me to encourage, empower, and inspire.

In July of 2016, I marched for peace with others in Houston, TX. The march started at Antioch Baptist Church and ended at Houston’s City Hall building. People were from many walks of life: civilians, police officers, clergy, politicians, teachers, students, young people, seasoned ones, single ones, married ones, Christians, Muslims, you name it. This moment was one of historical importance because during the 1960s, Houston’s media decided not to televise the civil work of its citizens because the city’s leaders were vying for a sports team.

But this time, in 2016, the revolution was televised, and it was a revolution for peace. Our city saw moments like the one my mother experienced when she was younger while she was riding a city bus. For safety reasons, my grandmother asked my mother to move to the back of this bus even though there were many seats in the front of it. My mother began to move to the back in obedience to my grandmother; however, a young white man put his leg across the aisle so that my mother couldn’t move to the back. Because of this gesture, my mother was able to exercise her right to equality with the help of someone who was presumed to have been the enemy. Their position was a peaceful formation because of his leg extension and her about-face turn, and even though this part of the revolution was not televised, it was an important moment that reminded my family not to believe in racial polarity, but to judge each person by his/her own merits.

Not only was the July 2016 peace march a moment of historical importance, it was also of biblical importance because it brought scripture to life. Isaiah chapter 65, verses 24-25 state, “It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb will graze together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox; and dust will be the serpent’s food. They will do no evil or harm in all My holy mountain” says the Lord”

Here’s my evidence of that scripture being manifested. There were leaders with megaphones at the front of the line, as we marched, who used a call-and-response approach as they chanted, “Forward together; not one step back” or “Peace and unity!” However, others in the crowd shouted, “No justice: no peace”. These were not exactly the same requests, yet the group had tolerance for each member because the participants knew that each individual marched for a main overarching focus of peace, regardless of individual underlying motivations or hopes. They recognized the power in their unified presentation.

Also, they recognized the power of their prayers. You see, when they uttered their requests in unison of movement and action and peace, they were in the act of prayer, whether they realized it or not. Prayer is simply a request for help or a message of thanks while being in God’s presence. Since believers know that they are in God’s presence whenever two or more are gathered in His name, then one can understand that these calls or chants were abbreviated supplications that were repeated over and over for amplification, for elevation, for the situation at hand.

This repetition was for concentration and consecration as the group moved into formation as they battled via prayer. Jeremiah chapter 50, verse 42 speaks of warriors who come against believers in battle formation. This scripture suggests that those who fight for peace must still realize and strategize as they are on the move. While some Christians tend to see themselves as sheep that are led by a Shepherd, it is helpful for them to add the power of the word in Matthew 10:16 that suggests, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves”. If anyone has spent any time watching sheep, one would have noticed that sheep are not considered to be very smart creatures. They wander off, and are considered to be animals of prey. P.R.E.Y. However, empowered and shrewd sheep are animals of pray – P.R.A.Y. So, as the people of Houston marched in battle formation, they prayed, so that they would not be preyed upon by the enemy, which is violence and or the lack of peace.

Peace in the mind,
peace in the home,
peace in the land,
our people pray
for peace.

Brother Steven M., a House that Dignity Built supporter, wrote to us of the scripture that reminds him of the connection between prayer and peace. It is found in 2 Chronicles chapter 7, verse 14. It reads, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land”. Brother and sisters, our land is in need of healing, so we marched and prayed in formation as we battled for peace for our children, our families, our neighbors, and ourselves.

And we marched in prayer formation for peace just as our civil rights ancestors marched against civil injustices for rights of equality or justice.
And we marched in prayer formation for peace as we formed our words, formed our thoughts, and formed our revolution.

We marched like King,
We marched like Ghandhi,
We marched like the suffragettes,
the labor workers,
the daughters of Africa,
and the coal miners.
We marched as proud graduates.

George Tandy, Jr. says it like this:
Sings: Cuz we’re coming up on uncharted territory, but we still march, I still march, you still march, we still march.
So many obstacles in front of us we can’t see but we still march,
I still march, you still march, we still march
Let the clouds bring a storm.
Bring us pain, bring us harm and we’ll still march,
I still march, you still march, we still march
Let the ground rip apart…
Push us back to the start we still March.
I still march, you still march, we still march…
Like a soldier you deserve a purple heart

And so, as the word promises, that our prayers would be heard while we were yet speaking them, those in the crowd with chants of “No justice: no peace” began to approach the stage at City Hall with their cries of pain and hollers of hurt. Then, they began to realize that their message was important to the rest of the group as well. Some of them cried in relief that they were being heard because their prayers had been received while they were yet still praying.

Ladies and gentleman, my prayer for you today is that as you march for peace within your own lives, that the amount of peace that you receive be exponential rather than only arithmetic. I pray that God hears your pleas and heals your spirits from any fear or worry. I speak this over you in the name of Jesus, and I thank you for taking a moment to listen to this message from The House that Dignity Built. I am Dr. Daintee Glover Jones, and I would be honored for you to visit us again for our next message on Tuesday, September 6.

Our aim is to encourage, empower, and inspire all of us to move towards peace.

Until next time…Amen and ase’.

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